Mat Devito and family photos from the wall of the new Vince Devito Shoes shop at 411 Hall Street. A multi-month renovation lead by RAMM Custom Build and interior designer Randall Boisvert’s Covet Interiors wrapped up last month. The shop, there since 1995, has doubled in size. All of the labour and design was local. “It was a way to give back to our local customers,” says Devito. “Now we’re looking forward to the future — here we go.” Photo: Darren Davidson

Mat Devito and family photos from the wall of the new Vince Devito Shoes shop at 411 Hall Street. A multi-month renovation lead by RAMM Custom Build and interior designer Randall Boisvert’s Covet Interiors wrapped up last month. The shop, there since 1995, has doubled in size. All of the labour and design was local. “It was a way to give back to our local customers,” says Devito. “Now we’re looking forward to the future — here we go.” Photo: Darren Davidson

BUSINESS BUZZ: Get wise to wildfire, North Shore goes green, physio, follicles and phoenix rise from Josephine flames

Lots of Nelson business news from Darren Davidson…

by Darren Davidson

The Buzz starts out this month with all eyes on the skies.

Wildfire concerns are top of mind for business owners and residents alike. Community Futures Central Kootenay has launched a website providing support and direction to businesses who may be impacted by the fires we’ve seen thus far. There’s currently no funding secured for financial support of affected businesses, but there are resources available to assist with disaster mitigation and recovery if things come to that. Community Futures B.C. has a team ready to speak with you any time — 1-888-303-2232, Info@CommunityFutures.ca, or CFWildfire.ca.

Another page to bookmark is discovernelson.com/news. There’s full details there on how to prepare your home or business in the case of evacuation.

Thinking of buying a house or property right now? Check with your insurer before you pull the trigger. Forest fires are so close to town now that you may not be able to get fire insurance from your broker.

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It’s been three years since multinational garden and yard product giant Scott closed Can Filters, in business on the North Shore since 1989, leaving 27 people without jobs. Scott, also the main distributor for Monsanto’s infamous Roundup herbicide, had been on a North America-wide acquisition run, purchasing the continent’s top distributors of hydroponic products, with the cannabis legalization effort building steam across the continent.

But Scott’s Can Filters plan didn’t pan out, and the building sat idle.

But now, there’s some great news.

The building was bought a few years ago by Nate Kube, a third-generation Nelsonite, and founder of Green Light Solutions. Kube and his team have opened up shop on the North Shore, and have launched a brand of CBD products, called Lofi, and a new cannabis brand, Woody Nelson.

Green Light’s mission? “To grow the best cannabis on the planet by pairing Nelson’s unbeatable grower knowledge with insights from our data-driven production platform.”

The company’s business model and branding is concise and crafty. The Green Light folks believe that digital transformation will shape the next generation of cannabis. The company’s vision is to enable its producers to become better growers through data-driven actionable intel.

Lofi’s CBD products slogan is “for when you’re being productive, unproductive, going through some shit, or all of the above.”

Green Light’s Walker Patton says Lofi’s products will be about half the cost per milligram of CBD when compared to the competition.

“And we think that’s going to make some waves,” Walker adds, “and that’s cool, because that’s pretty much why we’re here.”

The Green Light team is familiar with the industry and its various sectors. Patton helped build business for Vancouver-based cannabis retail brand Village Bloomery. And in February, Green Light and its subsidiary, Joe’s Hemp Shack Inc., entered into a hemp processing agreement with Nextleaf Solutions Ltd (CSE: OILS), a Canadian cannabis extractor that owns the second most U.S. patents among all cannabis companies.

Lofi’s website isn’t quite completed yet, but Green Light’s site provides some insight into both the CBD and THC brands — which will be ready for retail later this summer.

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From smoke to surveys… If you haven’t received a call or visit from the Nelson Chamber of Commerce Business Recovery Advisor, you will sometime this summer. You can get more information on the important province-wide effort aimed at measuring businesses’ post-pandemic needs at discovernelson.com/recovery, and fill out a survey that will help the Chamber advocate for your pandemic recovery needs with all levels of government. The survey only takes a few minutes (seven quick questions) and all the info is confidential. www.surveymonkey.com/r/CGQP758.

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There are a couple of big retirements to share news of. We’ll have more on these in our next column. Two decades after joining creative forces with Ted Hall, the founder of homegrown architectural and design juggernaut Spearhead, company partner Randy Richmond has hung up his hard hat. What a story Spearhead is, and what a seven-year run it’s been for City of Nelson Development Services Manager Pam Mireau, who’s moving on to more laid back pastures as of the end of September. Mireau and husband Len MacCharles, Nelson Fire and Rescue’s chief, both started with the city in November of 2014.

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A year after fire destroyed a four-business building at the corner of Josephine and Victoria Street, the building has risen from the ashes. There’s even a little concrete-stamped phoenix-bird on the corner of the Thomas Loh redesign to prove it.

Building owners Chris Rowat and Daiva Villa got to work on the rebuild right after the blaze.

A few previous tenants have returned into the bright and spacious suites — Tarynn Lloyd Pottery Studios and Divine Alchemy Tattoos.

Physical Therapist Lori Anne Donald has opened up her own place — Mountain Sport Clinic. The physiotherapy clinic focuses on sports injuries, post operative rehabilitation and athlete development. There are four private treatment rooms and a large gym space, offering manual therapy, exercise programming, running analysis, acupuncture and intramuscular stimulation needling, custom knee bracing, and vestibular rehabilitation.

Next door, Gina Bégin has opened Gina’s Gelato.

The art nouveau gelateria, worth a visit for both the treats and a look at the great paint job and floors, is like stepping back into the early 1900s, says Begin.

“We make traditionally-made, from-scratch gelato and sorbetto desserts — from the handmade waffle cones to the nuts that are roasted and ground for the pistachio gelato, everything is made fresh on site.”

Gina’s is open every day of the week.

Upstairs, the Bijou Boutique Salon trio of Erin Murphy, Lisa Seyfried and Amber Beckjord have winged in to gleaming new environs from their longtime spot on Ward Street. Murphy, who has been in the hairdressing industry for over 20 years, says the move into the new building was “the best art collaboration of her life.”

Bijou’s slogan kinda says it all, especially for the follicularly challenged amongst us: life isn’t perfect, but hair can be.

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Last but sure not least. It might not quite be quilt season yet, but sooner than later we all need one. Check out Brita Brown Quilts on Instagram link: britabrownwood and the new site www.britabrownquilts.com.

Anyone who visited the cop shop a time or two will know Brita Wood, who was with the NCP for years. Now retired, the life-long quilter has made 30 to 40 quilts. Last fall Wood tried selling a few.

“Good quality fabrics are expensive,” she says, “and my thinking was that since I can’t stop making them, I should attempt to recover some of my costs and find a market for them. “

So after taking a few business classes through Community Futures, she set up shop on-line.

Brita says the endeavour was a positive, productive and creative way to focus on this past second winter of COVID isolation.

Sales are brisk. And so are custom orders and commissioned work.

“Quilts represent warmth, comfort and safety, both physically and psychologically,” she adds, “And bright colours make people feel happy.”

That’s it for this month everyone. Stay cool out there. And stay safe.